Some Thoughts on Once Upon a Time-The Pilot

Anyone who has ever read this blog, any of my writing or spent any time talking about books or movies knows that Snow White is the first thing I remember. It was the first story my Mother read to me, the first movie I remember(though the Wizard of Oz made quite the impression as well).

So when ABC announced a new show called Once Upon a Time anchored by the story of Snow White I just had to take a look. I have to say I liked what I saw. Ginnifer Goodwin(Big Love, Beezus and Ramona, Something Borrowed) strikes the perfect note as Snow White/Mary Margret Blanchard.(I am assuming at this point that you are familiar with the premise of the show. If not you can watch it at abc.go.com or Hulu. Ginnifer does a great job of projecting both outer softness and the inner strength of a survivor. Josh Dallas also does a nice job as Prince Charming. However I think the series will rest with Jennifer Morrison(House) who plays Emma Swan and Lana Parilla as the Evil Queen/Mayor Regina Mills. If the two of them don’t pull it off I think the series will sink.

I have great hope for the writing. The creators worked on Lost and they are using some of the same techniques on Once as they flash back and forth between The Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke, Maine. The episode was well paced and transitioned smoothly between fairytale and reality.

Things I liked most from the Pilot: Snow White’s Coffin and how the forest changed when the Prince kissed her. Loved the entire look of the production. The Castle in the Enchanted Forest. Apples everywhere in Reginia’s house in Storybrooke, Emma’s front door in Boston, Granny’s Bed and Breakfast and the little wooden whale. Leroy whistling, “Whistle While You Work.”

Favorite Line: “The Glass Coffin gave me pause.” Snow White’s reply on whether she believed the Prince would find and rescue her.

Things I Didn’t Like: (Nothing’s perfect) All the women’s hair in The Enchanted Forest seemed messy and we know from Disney that all Princesses have magical Perfect Hair. Also I hated the Blue Fairy’s Dress.

I thought all of the fairytale motifs in the show were well done and not big anvils. Curses at weddings and christenings(I’ve never understood why they don’t just elope), orphans, mirrors, apples, books full of knowledge you shouldn’t have, magic wardrobes, loss of a parent.

I enjoyed the nods to Lost and I’m sure I missed a few, but I hope there are not too many and the show is allowed to stand on it’s own. That said, how many did you catch? I saw: Emma’s eye when she wakes in the jail cell, Geronimo Jackson bumper sticker.

And having cut their teeth on Lost this is a show that the writers have loaded with questions. Here are a few I came up with:

Everyone has lost their memory of their true selves. Is that true for Regina and Mr. Gold? If so how are they winners? If they don’t know who they are how can they enjoy everyone else’s misery?

Does Regina know she has Snow White/Mary Margret’s grandson? If she doesn’t love him, why is she keeping Henry.(I know I’m making an assumption, but I’m assuming that Emma stayed because Regina lied about loving Henry. Is he her failsafe if it seems that Emma will win?

If Mr. Gold remembers his prophecy about Emma does that mean he’ll have some sort of power over her because he was given her name?

Is the town just filled with people from fairy tales? If so, is Henry the only one who ages?

How did Henry figure all of this out? Did he overhear something, Is it in the book his teacher/grandma gave him, or did someone tell him and if so, who?

How long will it take before someone besides Henry realizes the clock has moved?

Does Mary Margret volunteer at the hospital because John Doe/Prince Charming is there?

Is Emma now trapped in Storybrooke?

Things I’m looking forward to: All the side stories, like Red Riding Hood, The Sheriff, what kinds of bad things happen if you try to leave?

Think I’m wrong about thing? Are there questions or Lost references I missed? I would love to know what you think.

Next week: My thoughts on “The Things You Love Most”
Emma going after Regina’s apple tree with a chainsaw. Can’t wait!

If you enjoy fairy tale settings with twists check out my e-book, Awakening by Tina Riddle @ barnesandnoble.com

Fringe Thursday-Mrs. Bishop Tells Peter a Bedtime Story

I was intrigued by the fact that Walter told Ella in “Brown Betty” that he never told Peter bedtime stories, that he was too busy. We know he was working on a cure night and day until his son died. I wonder if he found it too painful to be around the Peter we know as a child because he knew what he had done?

My favorite line from the episode:”My mother doesn’t love Peter.” Go Ella-I love that kid.

So here is a story I think Mrs. Bishop might have told Peter one night when he had trouble going to sleep. Disclaimer:None of Fringe is mine.

Mrs. Bishop Tells a Story

“Once upon a time,” Elizabeth Bishop began.
“This isn’t going to be about a girlis it?”
“No, Peter.”
“All those Princess things start that way.”
“This story is about a Prince. Now do you want to hear the story or don’t you?”
“Sure Mom, go ahead.”
“Thank you.

Now, once upon a time there was a beautiful Queen who wanted nothing more than to have a child to love. Her husband was a powerful wizard and so one evening he gave her a special potion to drink. Nine months later, the Queen had a beautiful baby boy.”

“That’s not how you get a baby. Carla told me.”
“She did, did she? Well this is a story and it was magic.”

“Now also in this kingdom there was an evil witch who also wanted a child, but the wizard refused to give her the potion because he knew that even though she was beautiful and seemed kind and generous she was truly an evil woman. He warned the Queen never to leave the Prince alone with the Witch, but the Queen soon forgot the warning because she and the Witch became such good friends.

One day the Queen was terribly busy and she left the Prince alone in the garden with the Witch. The Witch was always very kind to the Prince and she loved him in her own wicked way. She gave him a box of toffee and told him not to tell anyone.”

“What’s toffee?” Peter asked.
“Candy.”
“You never let me have candy.”
“It’s bad for you and-”
“It will rot my teeth,” Peter said in a resigned tone.

“The Queen did not allow the Prince to have candy either and so the Prince hid it. Late at night when everyone was asleep the Prince ate the candy. The toffee was enchanted and it made him very sick. The Queen was very frightened that the Prince would die. Nothing that the Wizard did worked because the Prince had been made from the Queen’s love and his magic.

One night he was desperate and he made a magic mirror. In the mirror he saw a kingdom that was just like the one his Queen ruled. It also had a wizard and a Prince. The wizard used his most powerful magic and traveled there. The prince in the Mirror Kingdom was sick as well. The wizard was sure that his magic could cure this boy and that he could bring his own Prince to the Mirror Kingdom and their wizard would cure his Prince.

Alas the wizard was too late and when he returned with the other boy, the Prince had died. He knew he could still save one Prince. However once he was well, the Queen begged him not to return the Mirror Prince but let her raise him as if he was their child. He agreed, because he loved her. ”

Mrs. Bishop was relieved to see that Peter had fallen asleep. She had just reached the doorway when Peter spoke.
“What happened to the other Queen?” Peter asked, his voice coming out of the darkness.
“What do you mean?”
“The one the wizard stole the little boy from. She never got him back. She loved her Prince just as much as the other Queen right?”
“It’s just a story Peter,”
“Maybe the other Queen died of a broken heart or maybe she became an evil witch. If she knew what happened, maybe there was a war.”
“Go to sleep Peter.”
“It’s not right. Not fair. Something bad should happen to the Queen who kept him. Will you tell me the rest tomorrow?”
“Not if you don’t go to sleep, right now.”
“Okay, night Mom.”
Mrs. Bishop stood in the doorway of Peter’s room and watched him sleep until she heard the front door open and close. Then she went to talk to her husband.

Go Read This

If Dreamweaver wasn’t enough of a hint, I am a big lover of fairy tales.
If you are too, you are in for a treat.
Go to Supernatural Fairy Tales(dorlana.blogspot.com)
There you will find Cages-A Steampunk retelling of Grimm’s Jorinde & Joringel by Gypsy Thorton
It is in 5 parts, but don’t worry, you can read it from the beginning.
Gypsy has also read the story and you can listen to the podcast right there on the same site.
She has a lovely voice. It is a lovely story.
Drop everything you are doing and go listen/read right now.

My Fairy name

Your fairy is called Buttercup Icewitch
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in clover fields where fairy rings grow.
She is only seen in the enchanted moment between sleep and waking.
She wears bright clover green. She has icy blue butterfly wings.

Much thanks to Diamondsandtoads.com and Gypsy Thorton who directed me here.

Dreamweaver-a flash fiction exercise

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I created it to participate in a flash fiction contest. Each installment must be five hundred words or less. They have asked that the participants not start writing their entries until July 1.  I am not a person who enjoys breaking reasonable rules, but I feel the need to practice to see if I can acheive a readable story or chapter within the word limit.

Dreamweaver is my first attempt. I hope you enjoy, all comments will be appreciated.

 

DREAMWEAVER

“I want you to curse me.”

The old woman cackled at the beautiful blonde woman.

“Sounds like you’re already cursed to me.”

“I want the dreams back.”

“We all do.”

“What do you mean?”

“None of us have dreamed since you woke up dearie.”

It had not occurred to the Princess that other people in the kingdom might not be able to dream.

“How do we get them back?”

“If I knew that, do you think I would live in a place like this?”

Since the wise woman had no answers, the Princess went to the fairies.

It took her some time to gain their attention.

“Can you tell me what the curse was that made me sleep?”

“Oh, we don’t do curses, your Prince took care of the only one who ever did.”

She lay next to the Prince at night. He snored. She thought about smothering him with a pillow. Instead she went for a walk. She met others on her walks. They were all searching for their dreams. She was lucky, no one asked her who she was. No matter which direction she started out, she always ended up at The Tower. It was covered with roses now. She was careful not to touch them, she did not want to prick her finger on a thorn. Then it occurred to her that pricking her finger was exactly what she must do.

She sent the Prince on a quest. He was eager to go, he had nothing else to do. The King and Queen had no idea what to do with a grown up daughter, so they left her to her own devices. She asked the gardeners to clear away the roses. At night she stole the thorny branches. When she had them all the Princess went back to the fairies. She told them what she wanted. They refused. She reminded them that she was the Princess and they had no choice but to obey.

The sad little women fashioned her the spindle out of the thorns with magic and sorrow. Then before the sun rose they went away, so they would never have to perform such a terrible spell ever again.

It was not hard to find a strapping young man to carry the spinning wheel up to the tower. He was younger than she was and had no idea what he held in his hands. All day she cleaned until the tower’s bedchamber sparkled. She had not forgotten how. As the sun set, she pricked her finger on the enchanted spindle. A single drop of blood fell to the floor. Knowing what would happen this time, the Princess fell unto bed. She began to dream and so did all her kingdom.

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